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The Farmer

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The Farmer last won the day on May 11 2018

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  1. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    Just to let you know my computer died I will be back!!
  2. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    Went to check the cows before sunset, the flies really bothering them, the heat made them all hatch out at the same time I guess. Well will be cold shortly and no flies. Now I can tell you the tale of the day before Yesterday and why it sometimes feels one is fighting at the front. Well nobody shooting at one, something not to be forgotten. So this was all planed out, ridiculous amount of hay down and supposed to start raining yesterday (yesterday the day before Yesterday tomorrow ? ). So I got up early, did the chores and went on my merry way to the fields in the Kubota with the baler behind, about 4 miles away from the farm. About midway, in the middle of the road, the clutch went, me stuck and the cars having a hard time getting by. Was able to let the tractor freewheel backward and off the road. Luckily I had the phone with me and could call Jason. He came with some tools and we toiled over the tractor for a while but no luck. We then decided to go back, get the old trusty Deutz, drag the Kubota home, hook the Deutz up to the baler and start baling. This took us full two hours. I then started to bale and baled into the night. Then Yesterday I got up even earlier and baled until it started to rain, finished everything but at the end it was raining into the hay. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? If it wasn't for you, nobody would know what farming is sometimes like. Now we have to fix the Kubota before fall, without it we can´t get the hay to the cows. On my way to the farm show, nothing like seeing farm equipment with new paint and dream what one could do if one had this machine or that. Wish you were with me, maybe I bring the camera, why not.
  3. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    This is going to be very short, have to try to make up for Yesterday and supposed to start raining in the afternoon. Maybe I can give a hint what Yesterday was like, started out with Pip interacting with a porcupine and ended with Pop interacting with a skunk. But we are all a live, nobody got hurt, still in the saddle and not riding into the sunset, the sun rising on this farm, more tomorrow.
  4. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    So when we came out this morning the dogs ran after something, could hear them make nosies in a ruin below the house. Later when we came in I noticed Pip was off, something wrong. When I checked him his snout was filled with porcupine needles. Surprisingly he let me pull them out with a tweezer, must have been very painful when I pulled on them, some of them in almost half an inch in. Got them all I think but will check later. Surprisingly. This dog has a real problem trusting people, either he is just this way or had some bad experience. Like when I need to do his nails, have to corner him, hold him tight so he can´t move and then cut the nails one by one, as if I am cutting off his toe with every nail and I know what I am doing, know not to cut into where the blood is. So I cut a ridiculous amount of hay Yesterday. Supposed to be dry today and into the afternoon tomorrow, we will will see if I can finish baling it all. But now there are only two fields left and first cutting done. Midweek I am going to the Empire State Farm show, the only farm show I go to, you never know what you learn. Probably this time that ALL the farm machinery is made in China by now, just about right time to raise the tariffs I guess and hurt us farmers a little bit more. We can take a lot of pain, masochists actually, but these needles must really hurt, surprised Pip ate afterwards like nothing was wrong. The golden rods are starting to flower here at 2000 feet, up here we very rarely have a drought, where we used to live in Warwick NY, often this time of year everything would be yellow or brown.
  5. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    Checked the weather forecast just now, dry today and tomorrow afternoon thundershowers on Tuesday. I cut for maybe 8 hours Yesterday without stopping. Got this special pillow of Ebay, saved me this summer. Has a hole in it for the tail bone. These long drives doing delivery were getting me starting to be aware of my tail. If you have a problem try it: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Coccyx-Orthopedic-Memory-Foam-Seat-Cushion-Comfort-For-Office-Chair-Car-Seat/192409562302?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649 Not selling anything, just trying to help ? Now the question should I go and cut more today. What I will do, do the chores, move the cattle, take a brake and check the forecast again. I am getting done, if I cut today, then almost finished with 1. cutting. Will have more than enough hay, better to have too much than to little, becomes a nightmare very fast. The problem, so many dairy farmers going bust and when they get rid of the cows they hold onto the haying equipment thinking they can make some money selling the hay so there is a surplus. O well this is farming for you. In Scandinavia they are out of hay because of a drought. Too far away I guess, maybe I should put an ad in Danish: "Hø for salg, men du må hente det"! If you know anybody in Scandinavia let them know, all read Danish I gather. Have you heard this Finnish saying: "Can't be Swedish, don't want to be Russian so we can just as well be Finnish". But I ask, who wants to be Swedish, the Dane in me talking. ?
  6. The Farmer


    The thing is the food industry is built on fraud, just too much money involved, if you don´t know the people who are raising your food you don´t know what you are eating as simple as can be: https://wtop.com/food-restaurant/2015/04/nearly-40-percent-of-restaurants-serve-fake-blue-crab-cakes/
  7. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    I don't think you know how important this diary is to me. Here I put the days thoughts on farming down, helps me put everything in perspective. Also seeing for my self what a paradise I live in, makes me appreciate my life, enough of that. Did you do your exercises this morning? Didn't think so, Pop does as see how good she looks. On the thistles, another invasive species not native to America: "The thistle has been the national emblem of Scotland since the reign of Alexander III (1249–1286) and was used on silver coins issued by James III in 1470. It is the symbol of the Order of the Thistle, a high chivalric order of Scotland. It is found in many Scottish symbols and as the name of several Scottish football clubs. The thistle, crowned with the Scottish crown, was the symbol of seven of the eight former Scottish Police Services (from which a new national Police Service was formed in 2013), the sole exception being the former Northern Constabulary. The thistle is also the emblem of Encyclopædia Britannica, which originated in Edinburgh, Scotland." And "According to a legend, an invading Norse army was attempting to sneak up at night upon a Scottish army's encampment. During this operation one barefoot Norseman had the misfortune to step upon a thistle, causing him to cry out in pain, thus alerting Scots to the presence of the Norse invaders." And now you know, the thistles starting to flower as you see. Nasty plants but goats eat them, more goats on the farm needed. Rained this morning but they are promising dry weather into Tuesday so I will cut and cut and cut today and then we are getting done with first cutting. The hay will then dry tomorrow (hopefully). On Monday I am taking 4 steers to market, haven't sold enough of them to you. Jason will start baling and then I will take over and bale into the night. More on the saga of the semen tank, about learning everything the hard way or "how was I to know, nobody told me". So this what happened, brought the tank to the supplier and picked it up filled Friday afternoon, everything good so far. Went home and picked up the pork share I wanted to give them for storing the semen all these years and went to the dairy farm. Found Dan, one of the sons, checking on fences right by the barn. Told him why I was there and that I had a pork share for them. He told me it hadn't been any bother and the pork share unnecessary , didn't take that much space in the tank. But as we got talking, obvious they had worried a little about the tank going bad and everything in it. So he took the pork and we went into the milk house to transfer the semen into my tank. No luck, turned out my tank wasn't tall enough to store the straws safely. I had bought a 10L tank put need a 20L. So I have to wait until I can afford to buy the 20L about $500 and then use this 10L to transport the nitrogen from the supplier. Everything good in a way, always the plan to get the bigger one and they can store the semen until then, the plan to use this semen next summer. Well could have been worse but by nightfall Yesterday I was really discouraged, felt stupid and dumb, but after writing about it and the sun shining, feeling pretty good. Maybe the coffee helped.
  8. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    One short walk this morning and back in, raining, but took a couple of pictures of the rain. But as I promised, checked out the main herd Yesterday and took the camera with me, some of the pictures pretty good if I say so my self. The bulls had settled in and the cows around them, there they will be even into November, the gestation period 9 months for cows. Got the semen tank Yesterday, looked good, made in China of course. Me buying it from China putting somebody out of business in this country I gather. But what can one do trying to improve the bottom line that got lost a long time ago. Brought the tank to the nitrogen supplier and supposed to pick it up at four o'clock today. He said he was supposed to charge me $8 a liter, the tank taking 10. But because I was Icelandic like Magnus Magnusson (the strongest man in the world according to him) he would only charge me $5 a liter. Thank you Magnus, maybe I should send you the $30. I told him my great uncle was a strongman, had his own circus and all. Lifted elephants, tore up telephone books, bent steel bars and such, think it impressed him. But when I told him he was only half brother to my grandfather, seemed like he put two and two together, understood why I am like I am. Then I will bring the filled tank to the dairy farmer hoping he still has the semen in his tank.
  9. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    Rained a little bit towards evening but not much, just enough to soak me while I was ending putting the bulls with the cows, five of them, one just a young thing. Very proud of my self having done it the right day. Two weeks later than last years, felt the calf's were coming a little early. By now my bulls are like kittens, nice as can be, calm and collected. Somewhat a problem actually, if they don't want to go where I want them, they just don't go, look at me as if "how stupid can you be, I am not going there, don't feel like it". Then you don't want to push them too hard, being calm does not mean they have forgotten they are bulls if they decide I am some vermin to be eliminated. So this is how it goes. The bulls are in a long field with some steers, have to convince them they want to go through the gate and to the fold where I can sort them. Some of the steers are skiddish and when I have gotten the whole herd by the gate, maybe 30 of them, they decided three times they want to run to the other side of the field maybe a 1/4 mile. I can not run after them, only walk calmly as if I am there for a Sunday walk. If I start running, everything goes into an other state of mind, adrenalin and fear. So I just walk calmly and in the end they are by the gate and decide it might be fun going through it. On to the fold they go, there we separate the bulls, easy piece after years of selecting for calmness. If a bull shows any kind of fear or aggressiveness at this point, not used for breeding, simple as can be. Then we let the herd go back to the field, load the bulls on to the trailer one by one, heavy, don't want to brake the trailer, and drive them to the cows. There they start making this deep rumbling sound letting everybody know why they are there. Will go later today to check on them and take picture for tomorrow. You see the picture of Blondie, she is on the logo, retired, has not had a calf for several years now, doesn't milk enough for them, they would struggle. She is going to stay as long as she is in good health, how is that for a business decision?
  10. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    Raining right now, not much just drops, the weather forecast says 90% change of rain today, 80% tomorrow and 90% Friday, no haying for the next few days. Supposed to put the bulls with the cows today, my running with the bulls I guess. This is two weeks later than last year, decided the calf's were coming a little early this spring. So I ordered this semen tank on Ebay $223 free shipping. I bought twinning cattle semen a few years back and had a neighbor store it for me in his tank, embarrassing how many years it has been. When I get the tank I have to bring it to the liquid nitrogen supplier, have them fill the tank and then go over to them with a pork share and hopefully pick up the semen. Wont be able to use it this year though, not set up yet for artificial breeding. Have all the equipment chute and all but not had time to set it up, the plan to do it next summer. This tank holds the cold for 80 days and then has to be refilled. The plan to get the next size up for $500 later, that one good for 160 days and then use this smaller one to pick up the nitrogen and pour into the bigger one, plans plans plans. Well if it starts to rain heavy, maybe I will just work on the bulls tomorrow and I work on the spreadsheets inside, the plan to try to incorporate somehow my email address so when you order a share in the spreadsheet you can drop me an email so I know you did it, redundancy, redundancy my mantra. This delivery was actually amazing. I was by my self, Temma away and again and again I made some mistake that was later corrected because of this redundancy. Then if I thought I had made a mistake, I could just go back and check, no mistake. Then I figured out a little thing that helped. We mark the boxes according to stops, 1, 2, etc. We started with the highest number, the lowest coming out of the car first. Every time we had to know exactly how many stops beforehand so the highest number would be right. This time I reversed it, number 1 the last stop going first into the car, didn't have to keep in my head how many stops, "keep it simple stupid".
  11. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    This is very early, us going to a meeting and have to drive for a couple of hours. Took these pictures Yesterday when I came home from haying late in the afternoon, thought you might want to see them, the chicks and Adam the stallion. The chicks are probably around Adam for protection but he hangs around them too, kind of neat. This is the third summer he is with the chicks. So it is a fact, I am very good at haying. 64 bales came of this field, maybe about 800-1000 lbs. a piece, quite a bit of hay. Jason started in the late morning and I took over about 2 PM. Done by 5 PM and Jason then starting wrapping them, done about 8 PM as it got dark. I should take a picture of the bales all in a row.
  12. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    So the delivery went very well, only one mistake if I remember right. On Montaque Street I didn't realize Isaach and Mar live in a building that has a sister building right beside it. So when I saw the door of that house I went in and everything the same, at least to my eyes. Luckily it solved it self, could have developed into a scary si fi horror story, me wondering around the building looking for people who didn't exist in this parallel universe or something. As I say, every delivery a "Mission Impossible". Seems like I might be able to pull this haying off, no rain in the forecast until late in the day. Jason got the baler ready Yesterday, greased and put twine in it and supposed start baling as soon as he comes in. I will then take over in the afternoon and finish. That is to say if the equipment holds up. I will go and buy more plastic to wrap the bales tomorrow, handy to have the money from the delivery. See the chicken with her one chick left, my breeding so to say. The comb black with feathers up to the beak, been selecting for this, small dark combs, hardier in winter. The dark comb just for fun maybe, maybe to confuse the predators thinking it is a crow or something. The fact is, the other chick taken by the predator was lighter. Actually I am breeding black chicken with white wings making the predators think this is a whole flock of skunks. As I said I am a genius like somebody else. I think these birds are called cow birds, no this is just a starling right? Another invasive species. As I took the pictures it jump from one eye to the other, taking flies it seemed. You know the first European starling bred in Central Park, imported to make the Dutch? feel at home. You can actually see the fly being picked in one of the picturers.
  13. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    This is going to be short, a delivery day. Cut for maybe 6 hours Yesterday and then did the orders well past 10 PM, but I finished. Did maybe 40 acres, something like that. Then bale it Monday, have Jason start in the morning and take over by afternoon and bale into the night, might even finish it. The secret to haying, to push it, be bold, not cautious. If it rains into the hay the world is not lost. But if you pull it off, the neighbors will be impressed. Guess if they see rained in hay, they will have a different opinion of me. Or as it says in the poem: Friends and relatives die, everybody dies, but reputation is for ever. Not really true is it, we don´t even know the poet, long forgotten. The poem a collection of good advice. One goes like this: "An armless man can drive cattle, everybody is of some use", and on the good advices go. "When you come to a fire with strangers, don´t turn your back to them". Guess that´s a good one. More on this poem later, in a way the morality of the religion in Iceland and Scandinavia before Christianity, a little bit like the Ten Commandments, just many more of them.
  14. The Farmer

    Farm diary

    The delivery tomorrow, much easier these days with all the systems working, the spreadsheets and all. Constantly thinking up new ways of improving on things and we might be on to something. I put the picture of the tire and rim on my old trusty Deutz because I painted the rims almost 30 years ago now. The former owner had put a calcium-chloride solution in the tire to make the tractor heavier for better traction. But the calciou-cloride, if it leaks out, eats up the steel in the rims, actually holes in them when I got the tractor. So I sandblasted the whole thing, welded up the holes and used a special chemical supposed to combine with the rust somehow. Then painted everything with high quality paint it seems, remember buying the paint at a auto paint supplier. Makes me feel good everytime I see the rims. So should I cut today after chores, the weather forecast says dry until Tuesday when scattered thundershowers. Have to organize the delivery tonight, deliver tomorrow and could bale Monday. But then there is this important meeting Tuesday, don´t want to be tired. So what will I do? cut of course come Hell or high water, try to finish the chores as fast as I can when finished with this and then go out and cut into the afternoon and get the delivery together into the night, should work out. The field to cut maybe 4 miles away from the farm. Anything else? Clementine decided to take the walk with us, the goldenrod getting closer to flowering. The sun actually came out for a couple of second and the cloudcover getting thinner as I write this. There you can see the hen with her one chick almost as big as herself by now. Some predator took the other one a few days back on the lawn, could here the n about 5 am in the morning. The hen does not roost with the other chicken where I lock them up for the night, too early out in the morning. This is Tai waiting on the porch to come in with us.
  15. The Farmer

    Donald Trump